Public demand immediate action from Government over VW scandal

Public trust in the car industry has been badly damaged as eight in 10 people (79%) expect more manufacturers to be drawn in to the defeat device scandal involving VW. 

The fallout from the VW scandal has spread beyond customers known to be affected and people want action from Government, including an independent review, to ensure this can never happen again. Which? surveyed a representative sample of over 1,500 UK car owners and found that only one in five (19%) think the Government has a clear action plan in place.

More than three quarters of those we surveyed agreed that Ministers should ensure that new tests are brought in as soon as possible on both fuel emissions and fuel economy (78%), and said that it is critical that any investigation is independent of the car manufacturers (82%). This isn’t surprising given that a further eight in 10 (79%) told Which? that they expect more manufacturers to be drawn in.

These findings reaffirm the lack of trust in industry and support our calls on Government to set a timetable outlining when UK consumers can expect preliminary and final conclusions from an independent review.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said:

“This scandal has rocked the motoring industry and public trust has been badly shaken. The public are rightly demanding answers from the Government.

“We’re calling on the Government to quickly put in place an independent investigation and to ensure that consumers are not left out of pocket.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed a representative sample of 2127 UK adults online between 9th and 11th October 2015. 1658 respondents are car owners or have at least one car in their household. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults.
  2. Which? wants the Government to:
  • Set out a timetable for its testing, outlining when UK consumers can expect preliminary and final findings and conclusions
  • Demonstrate how this investigation will be genuinely independent, including the role of the Vehicle Certification Agency and the contribution of manufacturers (including randomised car testing)
  • Clarify whether the testing regime for Volkswagen vehicle emissions has been manipulated or loopholes exploited specifically in the UK and whether this extends to both fuel efficiency tests and all car manufacturers
  • Ensure that the process of product recalls and redress is tackled for all affected consumers quickly and easily
  • Set out how the Government will work with the European Commission to implement new tests for car emissions and fuel economy before 2017

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